the cairene experience

Friday, April 28, 2006

Une lettre terrifiante

Un jour, j’ai reçu une lettre du ministère de l’ intérieur. La lettre me demandait d’aller au bureau du ministère le lendemain, à 8 heure du matin. Après une longue nuit blanche, je me suis réveillée à 8 heures moins quart. J’ai couru à ma destination et quand je suis arrivée, j’ai demandé à un passant où était le bureau du ministre. Le bureau était au sous- sol, donc j’ai descendu l’escalier et je l’ai enfin trouvé. J’ai frappé à la porte. Quand, je suis entrée, j’ai trouvé un homme assis à son bureau. Je pense qu’il était le secrétaire du ministre. Je me suis approché de lui et lui ai donné la lettre sans dire un mot. Il m’a demandé d’attendre. Une minute après, il m’a accompagnée au bureau du ministre. À ce moment, je mourais de peur. Le secrétaire m’a donné un bout de papier et il m’a dit, « éteignez votre portable, lisez ça et répondez, vous comprenez ? » .j’ai hoché de la tête et j’ai regardé le papier qui avait 2 phrases: 1. je m’appelle …, suis né(e) …. J’ai fait la moue sans écrire un mot. Le secrétaire est retourné et il m’a dit : « vous avez fini Madame ? ». J’ai fait non de la tête. Il a froncé les sourcils et m’a dit :´Finissez vite madame, il n’ y a pas besoin de beaucoup réfléchir ». J’ai vite écrit et lui a dit quelque chose que je n’ai pas entendu. Le secrétaire s’est approché de moi et il m’a dit : « je suis désolé Madame, vous avez reçu une lettre par erreur ».

Saber "Already"

Because of my work with interiors, my fellow mates are workers like plumbers, carpenters, electricians ... Etc. In case you have not dealt with one, I would like to give you a quick overview on the profile of a worker " sanai3i" in Cairo. Quiet talented with what they do, however all the work is done on trial and error basis. In most cases, a worker gets very little education to none. In spite of the fact that interior work whether construction or decorative is heavily based on taking measurements, the sanai3i hates using a meter, usually comes without one to a work site and needless to say paper and pencils are usually provided by the client. Also its worthy to say that a worker in Cairo will never do a mistake, its always someone else who did it or it's the fault of the wall or the floor or another inexperienced worker. On a different note, a worker is always fascinated by new English words like OK, already ..Etc. Saber is a new worker that I met recently and he does bamboo work. I have Saber saved on my phone as Saber "Already". Saber loves the word already and uses it in every sentence that he says, regardless if it fits or not. So for example for all the following questions, Saber will answer Already :
Can you come take measurements next Sunday, ya Saber? -- yes/ no already
How much will this cost? --- already 700 L.E
Please paint this brown and this white. -- already

After getting completely confused, I decided to explain to Saber how to use the word "Already". I tried to explain the difference between Ok and Already, also that we only use already to indicate that something has been previously done. It took me about 10 minutes to explain to him the difference and give him examples and then I finally asked him if he understood and he said " Already" :)

take care -- already :)

enta 3aref betkalem mien:)

Before saying anything I would like to introduce myself because I believe that what people say is greatly based on who they are and what they have gone through in life. I am not going to say much, however the headlines are; Ex IT professional, currently an experienced candle maker & a “wanna” be interior designer. Fully Egyptian, born & raised in Cairo Egypt with intense traveling during my teen years until my late twenties which ended with immigration to Canada for a couple of years and then finally settling in Egypt for no apparent reason. Happily married & blessed with a beautiful daughter, also called Gamila :)